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New York Times best-selling author, former Obama communications executive to speak at ETSU

Contributed • Updated Jan 18, 2019 at 5:25 PM

Jennifer Palmieri, former White House Communications Director for President Obama and author of Dear Madam President: An Open Letter to the Women Who Will Run the World, will kick off the inaugural Festival of Ideas at East Tennessee State University.

“An Evening with Jennifer Palmieri” will be held on Monday, Jan. 28 at the Millennium Center Ballroom (second floor). Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. followed by a lecture and question and answer session at 6:30 p.m.

Palmieri’s 2018 book earned a number one spot on The New York Times best-seller list and was written as an empowering letter to all women desiring to succeed in life. Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright described Palmieri’s book as “A powerful, personal, and sometimes painful book written for any woman who has ever thought of becoming a leader. I hope it inspires more women and girls because their voices and their leadership are needed now more than ever.”

Hillary Clinton also praised the book. “My book explained what happened and where we need to go from here,” Clinton said. “Jennifer Palmieri picks up the ball and runs with it in this book. It’s about being a woman, working for a woman, and telling the stories of the personal and professional ups and downs that all women need to hear as we chart out individual and collective futures.”

Palmieri served as head of communications for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. In addition to her service as communications director for the Obama administration, she was the White House Deputy Press Secretary for President Clinton, national press secretary for the Democratic Party and press secretary for the 2004 John Edwards presidential campaign.

She also is a frequent contributor to the Washington Post and other national outlets and is a frequent guest commentator on MSNBC news shows.

After the death of her sister to early-onset Alzheimer’s in 2017, Palmieri has written and spoken about her family’s experience in an effort to aid other families dealing with the same disease.

Other events in ETSU’s Festival of Ideas include a presentation on “Changing Perspectives of U.S. Presidents” (Jan. 29); a panel discussion on “The U.S. Presidency and the Media” (Jan. 30); and a lecture with author Doris Kearns Goodwin, also a New York Times best-selling author (Jan. 31). Additional information is also available at www.etsu.edu/festival.

Palmieri’s lecture and all festival events are free and open to the public. For more information, contact the ETSU Office of Student Affairs at 423-439-4210 or [email protected] For disability accommodations, call the ETSU Office of Disability Services at 423-439-8346.

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